Calls on International Community to Increase Assistance to Haitians as they Endeavour to Find a Lasting Solution
“Our aim has been to widen consensus around a Haitian-determined path to peace, stability and democracy.”
– Prime Minister Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it is imperative that the international community moves beyond the rhetoric of solidarity with Haiti to implement strategic and targeted action that will allow Haiti to make tangible progress.
Speaking on Thursday (July 6, 2023) via video conference to the United Nations Security Council, the Prime Minister underscored that for any solution to be successful, it must not only be comprehensive, focusing on both the security and socioeconomic challenges, but also Haitian-led, -owned and -focused.
The Prime Minister said, “While we recognize the international community’s shared concern over the grave situation in Haiti, we emphasize that all efforts oriented towards contributing positively to addressing the situation in Haiti must be undertaken in good faith, must prioritize the needs and circumstances of the Haitian people, and must be free from the influence of geopolitics or political expediency”.
In this regard, Prime Minister Holness noted, that the international community must remain steadfast in its support of the people of Haiti.
“It is important to ensure that the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) is not just extended for another 12 months, but also that the Office is sufficiently equipped to provide robust support to the Haitian National Police so that it can combat the rising violence and restore order,” stated the Prime Minister.
In this context, Prime Minister Holness stressed that BINUH must work closely with Haiti to ensure that its mandate is responsive to the needs and priorities of the people of Haiti.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the steps taken by CARICOM to begin the path to peace, stability, and democracy in Haiti.
The Prime Minister said, “I have led a CARICOM mission to Haiti and have seen first-hand the challenges and heard the cries of the Haitian people. We have taken note of the Secretary-General’s report and his assessment following his visit to Haiti. We note the many offers of tangible support to Haiti. We acknowledge the imposition of sanctions on gang members as a good and important step. However, sanctions are insufficient to adequately address the local insecurity and transnational impact of the gangs. We have noted the Haitian Government’s request for security support to address the urgent and deteriorating security situation.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Holness noted further assistance to Haiti through the CARICOM established the three-member Eminent Persons Group, which comprises Former Prime Ministers from the Bahamas, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. He also said that through this mechanism, CARICOM will continue to use its good offices to work with Haitian national stakeholders, civil society, and all partners, to contribute to the achievement of an inclusive, intra-Haitian dialogue.
“Our efforts are intended to form part of a larger framework, and therefore be complementary to the ongoing processes taking place at various levels. Our aim has been to widen consensus around a Haitian-determined path to peace, stability, and democracy,” said Prime Minister Holness.
CARICOM will offer support to Haiti in key priority areas, which will include humanitarian support, security, and election organization. Additionally, CARICOM will offer personnel, training, and capacity building to the Haitian National Police Force.
In the meantime, to provide immediate relief, the Prime Minister noted that it is imperative that the Humanitarian Response Plan is properly funded and, in this regard, urged humanitarian partners to massively scale up financial assistance, including investing in Haiti’s agricultural capabilities for food security and resilience strengthening.